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Dell has officially confirmed what's been rumored for the last few weeks by announcing plans to go off the publicly-traded stock market and into private hands. According to a press release issued moments ago, the transaction will be financed through a combination of cash and equity from founder Michael Dell, funds from investment firms Silver Lake and Michael Dell's MSD Capital, a $2 billion loan from Microsoft, plus debt financing from a number of banks. All in all the deal is valued at approximately $24.4 billion.
Dell's shareholders will receive $13.65 for each share of common stock they hold in the company, up about 25 percent from Dell's closing share price of $10.88 back on January 11th when rumors of a buyout began to circulate. Under the terms of the deal, there will be a 45-day "go shop" period during which the firm will be open to other offers before closing the deal.
Like many others in the industry, Dell has fallen on hard times as of late due to declining interest in traditional computers. The company has been trying to transform itself from what was once the world's top PC maker into a business known more for a diverse portfolio of enterprise IT hardware, software and services – not unlike HP and IBM before that. But if Microsoft's investment is any indication, Dell is unlikely to exit or lower its focus on the consumer PC space any time soon, and will remain a key partner for Windows 8 devices.
Here's Microsoft's short statement regarding their $2 billion loan:
Microsoft has provided a $2 billion loan to the group that has proposed to take Dell private. Microsoft is committed to the long term success of the entire PC ecosystem and invests heavily in a variety of ways to build that ecosystem for the future. We're in an industry that is constantly evolving. As always, we will continue to look for opportunities to support partners who are committed to innovating and driving business for their devices and services built on the Microsoft platform.
If everything goes through as planned Michael Dell will continue to lead the company as Chairman and CEO, his company just won't have to deal with the scrutiny from shareholders as he attempts to turn things around.